09 November 2009

And the wall came crashing down....

  • From the "old" Soldier side: 20 years ago the Wall that separated East and West Berlin was torn down. The Cold War was pretty much over.
When I was stationed in West Berlin (C Co/2nd Batt/6th Infantry) as a crewmen for indirect fire, (MOS 11C) I was amazed at the two Germany's. The West was like being in a color movie, the East was like a black and white movie.
The Germans in the West looked happy, the Germans in the East looked sad.
Many nights we sat and drank German Bier and looked at the wall. Some of us thought our children would grow up, join the Army and look at the same wall.
The Berlin Brigade is no more. But from 1945 to the mid 1990's it was there to keep the hordes of Commies from pouring over the wall...or, as we thought in the 1970's...we were just there as a speed bump.


Anonymous said...

1. Nuclear trip-wire is what they called it where I was.
2. Was down South near Stuttgart.
3. Found out later, that every time they war gamed a Soviet/Warsaw pact invasion of Central Europe, it escalated into a full scale nuclear exchange.
4. At the time, we figured the Sovs could make it to the North Sea ports about as fast as they could drive.
5. In October of '73 (minutes before I was slated for discharge)
we did a full scale activation, including movement to marshalling points.
6. Knew nothing about the cause. Thought the Sovs were coming and were slated to be radioactive dust.
7. Some scared s---less soldiers, I assure you.
8. Turned out to be in aid of the Yom Kippur War. Moved our tracks to a railhead, loaded them on flatcars and off they went to Israel -minus crews, thank God.
9. As it turns out, the Sovs were more awful than our best imaginings.
10. Afghanistan, Chechniya and Georgia are evidence of that. Think two-thirds of the Russian Federation tracks broke down before they crossed into Georgia.
11. Maybe we wouldn't have been as outnumbered as we thought at the time -and could have given them a fight. But...
12. You could tell where our motorized columns had been by following the broken down vehicles. (Tracks generally not allowed on the roads)
13. A Brit WWII General, John Hackett, wrote a book about the subject. Then he wrote another one outlining the depressing realities of NATO war gaming.
14. When was the wall coming down?
15. Typical response: not in our lifetime.
16. In reality, probably wasn't any safer at Cooke Barracks, if the balloon had gone up.
17. But always thought of Berlin as the place where the rubber met the road.
V/R JWest

Anonymous said...

cool medal...Sgt Speed Bump.

CI-Roller Dude said...

I had fatigues with such heavy starch that they could march by themselves. I had to put Glow Coat floor wax on my jump boots for guard duty and prades,
We spent 80% of our time making things look good, 10% training and the rest of the time trying to have fun!
Charlie Cobras, Weapons Platoon,
C/2/6 Queen of Battle.